(397y) Electronic Platform to Quantify Cellular Mechanisms Associated With Carbon Nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) exhibit unique properties that make them attractive candidates for the delivery of therapeutic molecules, genes and drugs. However, advances in the biomedical applications of CNTs are being hindered by uncertainties associated with their cellular uptake and delivery mechanisms as well as their fate inside the biological systems. Recent reports have shown that CNTs toxicity can be attributed to metal impurities, length, size, coating, uptake, or internalization. However, there are no reports that provide fundamental understanding of the toxicological and pharmacological profiles of cellular systems exposed to CNTs. In this research, a new approach is used to assess the toxicity of a wide library of surface modified CNTs incubated with human lung epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) in real time. This non-invasive technique relies on an electrical cell impedance sensing system (ECIS) used as a proxy to measure morphological changes and cellular interactions upon exposure to different concentrations and functionalities of CNTs. Such measurements are correlated to the cellular behavior under the influence of different parameters like endocytotic inhibitors or electroporation and are further complemented with cellular and optical assays to derive mechanisms associated with cytotoxic, genotoxic and apoptotic events. Our real time results provide an insight to the underlying cellular mechanisms responsible for the uptake and delivery of CNTs to the biological systems and promises to extend our understanding of such cellular-based interfaces to advance the biomedical applications of CNTs.